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Marius von Mayenburg, Maja Zade

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  2. English
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eBook - ePub


Marius von Mayenburg, Maja Zade

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About This Book

Benjamin won't do swimming at school. His mum thinks he's on drugs or has body issues. But Benjamin has found God and mixed-sex swimming lessons offend him. Fundamentalism and tolerance clash in this funny, provocative play by leading German playwright, Marius von Mayenburg. Martyr considers how far we should go in accommodating another's faith, and when we should take a stand for our own opposing beliefs.

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Oberon Books
SINCLAIR: Your teacher called.
Is there something you’d like to tell me?
SINCLAIR: Why can’t we talk the way we used to?
BENJAMIN: We never talked. I lied to you so you wouldn’t be sad.
SINCLAIR: Your teacher says the past few weeks you didn’t show up for class.
BENJAMIN: That’s not true. Except for swimming.
(BENJAMIN shrugs.)
Apparently you said you have a sinus infection.
SINCLAIR: Do you have a sinus infection?
(BENJAMIN shrugs.)
Why would you say something like that?
(BENJAMIN shrugs.)
Is it drugs?
(BENJAMIN looks at her.)
Are you taking drugs, Benjamin?
(BENJAMIN gives a short laugh.)
I had to promise your teacher you’d go back next week.
BENJAMIN: I’m never going back.
SINCLAIR: Why? What happened?
BENJAMIN: Nothing.
SINCLAIR: Are the other children giving you a hard time?
BENJAMIN: They’re not children. Will you write me a sick note?
SINCLAIR: Probably. But I need to know why.
(BENJAMIN shrugs.)
What am I supposed to write? It’s not a sinus infection.
BENJAMIN: I just think it’s gross, why do I have to explain it?
SINCLAIR: Because you want me to write you a sick note.
BENJAMIN: You don’t understand me anyway.
SINCLAIR: Are you scared you’ll drown? I’ll talk to your teacher, maybe he’ll let you swim at the edge so you can hang on if you sink.
BENJAMIN: I’m not going to sink.
SINCLAIR: Maybe you don’t like your body.
(BENJAMIN stares at her.)
That’s normal at your age. You really are quite pale.
BENJAMIN: I’m not pale.
SINCLAIR: I’ll give you money, you’ll use a sun lamp, just a bit, so you’re not so pasty.
BENJAMIN: I don’t have a problem with my body.
SINCLAIR: Maybe it’s sexual? Look, we can talk about it.
SINCLAIR: At your age boys sometimes get uncontrollable erections, I can imagine that that’s uncomfortable in front of the others.
BENJAMIN: I don’t have uncontrollable erections.
SINCLAIR: You can tell me these things, I hope you know that.
BENJAMIN: And then you’ll put in the sick note: my son can’t take part in the swimming lessons because of uncontrollable erections.
SINCLAIR: No. Of course not. I’ll put sinuses.
BENJAMIN: Put: because of religious reasons.
BENJAMIN: That the swimming lessons hurt my religious feelings. That’s it.
SINCLAIR: But Benjamin –
BENJAMIN: Then it’s settled once and for all.
SINCLAIR: Benjamin, you don’t have any religious feelings.
BENJAMIN: How would you know?
SINCLAIR: It has to be reasonably plausible or I’m going to look ridiculous.
BENJAMIN: What’s ridiculous about it?
SINCLAIR: I’ll put sinus.
BENJAMIN: Religious feelings or I won’t hand it in.
SINCLAIR: You’ve read that somewhere.
BENJAMIN: So? If they’re hurt, –
BENJAMIN: – my religious feelings?
SINCLAIR: No, seriously. I’m trying to smooth the way for you and you’re talking nonsense.
BENJAMIN: Other people are religious too.
SINCLAIR: I’m not writing that.
BENJAMIN: You could show some respect for it.
SINCLAIR: You’re going swimming next week.
BENJAMIN: Like I said.
BENJAMIN: You don’t understand me.
BENJAMIN: I’m not free today.
LYDIA: I didn’t ask you.
BENJAMIN: I wanted to tell you anyway.
LYDIA: I’m not interested.
BENJAMIN: Because yesterday you said you might be free today or tomorrow.
LYDIA: I only said that so you’d leave me alone.
BENJAMIN: I’m not free today. Or tomorrow.
LYDIA: That’s all right. I’m going for an ice cream later and then to the cinema.
BENJAMIN: Who with?
LYDIA: With Christian. And tomorrow we’re skiving and going to the lake in the quarry.
BENJAMIN: I’m not free tomorrow, I told you already. I have to read this.
LYDIA: I didn’t ask you, I’m going with Christian. Last time we left without our swimming stuff but Christian had suntan lotion, and that’s all you need.
BENJAMIN: I have to read this and I’d be glad if you didn’t bother me.
LYDIA: I’m not bothering you, I’m not even talking to you.
BENJAMIN: You’re talking the whole time.
LYDIA: Not any more.
BENJAMIN: And I need to concentrate, this isn’t a book with horses and girls from boarding school.
LYDIA: So concentrate.
(BENJAMIN reads.)
Does your book say anything interesting?
BENJAMIN: Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open.
LYDIA: Fine – if you have to read that stuff – , my brother likes watching films like that as well when my parents are out in ...

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